Niche Areas Needed to Grow Economy

MINISTER of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein has said for the Namibian economy to grow, it is important to concentrate on areas where the greatest value is generated.

He made this statement on Monday during the official opening of the Schooltex and Sportwear retail outlet, in Windhoek.

Schooltex and Sportwear Close Corporation is part of MampM Innovations, a Namibian garment manufacturer of school, sport and safety wear. The company is owned by Beauty Mathupi and employs 83 people.

“In garment value chains, it is indeed the marketing and retail link.

Namibia cannot afford to forgo economic gains and income as a result of lack of value addition at home, export of job opportunities to countries where value is added, and the exposure to risks due to dependence on exhaustible commodities and fluctuations in demand and prices,” the minister said.

Schlettwein said Namibia’s manufacturing capacity in distribution and retailing needs to be accelerated to deliver equitable benefits of economic growth and additional job opportunities to the whole of society.

“Our economy must be geared towards a higher level of value addition, a better value capturing in value chains and enhanced local supply-side capacity as well as better co-ordination and collaboration between all role players in the economy, including public-private dialogue,” he said.

Schlettwein said the government is convinced that SMEs are important sources of sustainable employment creation and are crucial to the success of an enterprise economy.

Schooltex and Sportwear was founded in February 2001 and apart from the manufacturing of school uniforms and other school wear, it plans to venture into the retail sector with locally produced goods.

SUPPORT

The trade ministry has supported MampM Innovations with support services ranging from participation in international exhibitions, sourcing exposures to China for competitive industrial inputs and provision of production equipment.

Schlettwein said currently, the government is developing a retail charter as a voluntary instrument through which certain benchmark and ambitions are agreed upon by the sector shareholders. The overall goal is to develop a retail sector in Namibia that meaningfully contributes to the economy.

“It is important to note here that this retail charter will create benchmarks for addressing goals needed to transform the economy towards an industrialised economy. It is a voluntary charter and its outcomes will be binding on the whole retail sector. I therefore invite all stakeholders in the retail sector to participate,” he said.

Source : The Namibian